BT: Gasa dzongkhag was connected with Bhutan Telecom’s 3G-network service yesterday, making it the last dzongkhag to get 3G services. The service will be officially launched on August 1.

Telecom manager based in Punakha, Yeshey Lhendup said the service would cover villages near Gasa dzong, town area until Gasa tsachu, and also cover Damji area.

After starting from Thimphu and Phuentsholing in 2008, 16 dzongkhags were covered with 3G services by the end of 2014, telecom officials said. Few weeks earlier, Zhemgang, Pemagatsel and Dagana districts were also connected with 3G services. The network was connected through fiber links from Thimphu.

Yeshey Lhendup said from Thimphu to Gaselo, the service was connected through the department of information and technology’s (DIT) fiber link, and from Gaselo – Wangdue – Lobesa, it was carried on Telecom’s fiber. DIT’s fiber link was again used to connect the service from Lobesa to Gasa.

However, he cautioned that landslides, continuous rainfall and falling trees might cause damages and disrupt the network.

Bhutan telecom is also working on connecting small satellite towns by the end of this year. According to Tashicell’s information online, the network also has 3G coverage in Gasa and Damji.

Meanwhile, with 3G service, dzongkhag officials are optimistic that it would help the dzongkhag in achieving its aim of clean Gasa by reducing use of paper and using the Internet for correspondences, Gasa dzongrab Chewang Jurmi said.

“It would also help district officials in carrying out official works especially when the district faces frequent black outs,” officials said.

Gasa dzongkhag sees one of the highest blackouts in a year. The power goes off twice every week, and sometimes once a day.

By Dawa Gyelmo, Gasa